Introduction to Keyword Selection in Search Marketing

The knowledge of SEO techniques is, to website operators, as essential as knowing how to run web ads. When you choose the right keywords and create engaging content around them, you're almost guaranteed to generate a lot of traffic to your site.

In the same vein, you're far less likely to maximize the full potential of search engine optimization if you're unfamiliar with such basic SEO tactics.

This guide is for beginners and experienced SEO practitioners who run SEO campaigns — or are about to dive into search marketing — and are interested in learning how to implement the correct keyword selection strategy to get the most out of it. We'll focus on keyword selection: its importance, procedure, recommended tools, and more. Let's get started!

The Importance of Keyword Selection in SEO

How search engines work

A robot, called a “crawler”, collects data from web pages all over the internet and stores it. When a user enters a keyword into a search engine, the crawler analyzes the data and returns results from websites that are relevant to what the user is looking for. 

Marketers that optimize their content for SEO are simply making it easier for crawlers to match the content of their site to the right prospects. And search engines like Google, in looking up websites to display to a user, determine which the user will find the most helpful — usually those with the highest user retention. In other words, the process is highly personalized. 

Enter keyword selection

Delivering helpful information to your company’s prospects to increase brand visibility is a straightforward decision. In creating the most effective content, however, marketers need to see things from the perspective of the user. 

Choosing keywords involves more than delivering your content to the right audience. You should strive to avoid overly competitive keywords and aim to build a strong brand identity. Companies that rank higher on search engines don't merely stuff keywords into their content, but instead, use effective processes to select keywords that apply to their target market. 

Procedure for Choosing Keywords

Decide on a primary keyword

Select a word that is closely related to your business's product, has a large search volume, and make it the primary keyword in creating your SEO content around it. This primary keyword can be placed in the title, the meta description, or in other content published on your website.

Use keyword tools

Next, use an extraction tool to find related keywords. You can also use similar tools to learn more about your competitors, draft how to better rank on search engines, and more.

Listen to your customers

It doesn’t hurt to listen to the opinions of your customers, both current and prospective. Websites like will help you discover questions the public is asking around keywords you are interested in. 

Document the process

Organize your keyword candidates by category. This way, you can compare the strengths and weaknesses of each, preventing you from overlooking potentially valuable ones. 

Place priorities

The search volume and competitiveness of each keyword will help you better determine which keywords you want to focus on. It's not just about search volume though. Instead, it's about if the content you're creating meets the needs of your users and showcases the strengths of your product.

Aim for long-tail keywords

SEO keywords are divided into three types: seed, medium, and long-tail keywords.

Keyword Type Definition
Seed Keyword Single keywords with high search volume. Competition is fierce, but you get a lot of traffic once you are at the top of the search engine result pages (SERP).
Medium-Tail Keyword Two-to-three-word keywords containing a moderate search volume. The competition for these is modest.
Long-Tail Keyword A mixture of multiple keywords. The search volume is small, and the competition is low.

Of the three above, it makes the most sense to target long-tail keywords. Their search volume might be small, but the specificity it brings helps reach a focused niche audience. Inquiry connections are also easier since detailed settings make it possible to pinpoint a target, and all this ranks your content and your website higher on SERP.

Recommended Tools for Keyword Selection

1. Google Keyword Planner

This Google tool was meant for AdWords advertisers to hunt keyword candidates and estimate search volumes. It can even help you discover new keywords, make flexible Search Engine Marketing or “SEM” plans, and even get bid estimates in case you decide to run ads later. 

2. Ubersuggest

Ubersuggest is a tool that delivers highly accurate diagnoses, search volumes, and SEO difficulty level of keywords. 

 3. Google Trends

Google Trends is a search tool that you can use to see how much a keyword’s search volume has increased over a specific period. This allows you to identify trends within a particular market. Also, remember to recognize potential keyword candidates, i.e., those whose search volume is increasing.

4. Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a tool built for analyzing the sort of keyword that is generating sufficient traffic inflow to your site. Data from this tool can be used to better optimize your content, and most importantly, determine whether your website is receiving traffic from your chosen keywords.

5. Ahrefs

Ahrefs, a tool with high indexation on the web, is a must-have for optimizing your SEO campaigns. It comes with a lot of resources, each of which can be accessed by simply entering your URL or keyword phrase.

6. Semrush

7 million marketers around the world use Semrush’s all-in-one suite. At $119.95 a month for professionals, it offers detailed reports on SEO, keyword research, and other services. 

Learn more: PPC Vs. SEO: An Analysis of Two Powerful Acquisition Models


It is imperative to use SEO tactics when acquiring web users rather than solely focusing on running paid advertisements. By creating content prospective users are interested in and optimizing those content for search engines, you will be able to rank higher in search results and see traffic coming to your website. Unlike paid ads, organic content becomes your asset, helping to establish authority in your industry.

No matter what tools you end up using for your keyword research and selection, remember to thoroughly test them to make sure they can bring you the results you need. 

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